PLANS have been concluded by the Delta State Government to sponsor 1, 845 people for pilgrimage to the holy lands in 2012.
The Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Chief Tony Nwaka, gave the figure in an interview with newsmen in Asaba yesterday.
Nwaka said that of the figure, 1,310 persons would be sponsored for the pilgrimage to Israel, 35 persons for the Catholic pilgrimage to Rome, and 40 persons for the Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
He said that while the Catholic pilgrimage to Rome was expected to be in September, the government was trying to see if the Christian pilgrimage to Israel could be shifted from its conventional December period to October.
He said that the forms for the pilgrimage were already out for sale and the process for participating in the exercise had commenced.
The commissioner said that the early commencement of the exercise in 2012 was to ensure that every arrangement was concluded without any hitch both from the state angle and in the holy land.
He appealed to prospective candidates to ensure that their credentials were up to date and accurate, adding that government would not be blamed for any short comings.